We did it again! Our draft rankings were once again the most accurate in the industry last season. We now have two first-place titles (2015 and 2018), a runner-up finish (2016), and an 18th-place finish (2017) over the last four years. It’s no surprise then that we’re at the top of the heap when it comes to draft rankings over the last four years. Make sure to check out our full rankings here. In this article, I’ll highlight a few players that we’re higher on and lower on compared to their current average draft position (ADP).
NOTE: PPR ADP data courtesy of Fantasy Football Calculator.
Players we’re higher on compared to ADP
Carson Wentz (TFFA QB6, ADP QB8) — OK, this isn’t that big a ranking over ADP, but Wentz has been steadily rising for me and I still like him more than the industry, which is catching up to my love. Wentz is tied for my most-drafted QB in best ball (with someone else I’ll discuss in this article) and I still think he’s going at an affordable price. First of all, let’s use pure facts to support the decision. Despite Wentz’s 2018 game missing a je ne sais quoi from his electric 2017 season, he increased his completion percentage an absurd 9.4% (60.2% to 69.6%) and still posted an excellent 5.2% TD rate (down from a league-high 7.4% in 2017) with a 3-to-1 TD-to-INT ratio. And most importantly, Wentz participated in May camps with no restrictions whatsoever from his 2018 back injury. On the anecdotal side, I think Wentz is going to have a serious chip on his shoulder after watching Nick Foles lead the Eagles during the playoffs for the second straight year. With perhaps the NFL’s best supporting cast of WRs and TEs surrounding him, I think Wentz has NFL MVP and, more importantly, the QB1 upside. I’ll take the durability concerns given the massive ceiling at Wentz’s current price. I’m legitimately thinking of moving him past Aaron Rodgers — who also gets hurt more than you’d like — in my rankings.
Cam Newton (TFFA QB7, ADP QB11) — The industry hype on Carson Wentz is building, but Cam still seems woefully under-appreciated. I’m treating him like a Plan B to Wentz in drafts; I think he has a massive ceiling despite some injury concerns and is way underpriced. Keep in mind that Cam was a top-3 fantasy QB for most of 2018 before his shoulder injury started really bothering him (around Week 12). As for that injury, Cam’s off-season surgery was a rousing success and he’s already back to making all the throws (albeit on a pitch count). That’s great for Cam, but also for two major breakout candidates at WR — DJ Moore and Curtis Samuel. With that duo, one of the league’s premier pass-catching RBs in Christian McCaffrey, and a nice TE stack of Greg Olsen and Ian Thomas, Cam is well supported. And even if the Panthers want him running less as he gets older, he’s still a bulldozer at the goal line and is a lock for multiple rushing TDs.
Dak Prescott (TFFA QB14, ADP QB17) — There isn’t a huge gap here, but I actually think I’m being conservative with my Dak ranking and the market is still underpricing him. Dak was the QB10 last year, but was QB6 after the Cowboys acquired Amari Cooper. He’s one of the best zone-read QBs in the league, and I’d argue at this stage of Cam Newton’s career, Dak is actually the more dangerous red-zone weapon. There’s a perception that Dak is just a piece of the puzzle in Dallas and utterly collapses when things aren’t perfect. There is some truth to that, especially when his OL is dinged up, but the return of C Travis Frederick from illness is a huge boost over last year and will help Dak even if LT Tyron Smith’s body gives out again. I also expect WR Michael Gallup to take a big Year 2 leap and TE Jason Witten at least provides Dak with a third-down chain mover to help replace Cole Beasley. At the QB position, I like to buy "perception discounts," and Dak is one of the two big ones I see.
Mitchell Trubisky (TFFA QB15, ADP QB21) — Here’s the other "perception discount." What am I missing here? Trubisky is the perfect example of a QB whose real-life perception is completely skewing his fantasy perception. The world seems to have decided that Trubisky stinks (there is some merit to that), but this is a guy who was the overall QB15 last season, and that included his missing two games. He had several monster games to skew numbers a bit, but the fact is Trubisky was capable of those monster games with a deep supporting cast plus his ability to run, and Matt Nagy’s schemes are good enough that an average QB can put up big numbers. Couple that with better health from Allen Robinson and Trey Burton, plus a second-year leap from Anthony Miller, and it’s fair to see Trubisky finishing as a top-12 QB this season. I’d go so far as to say I’d be comfortable with him as my starter in a league in which QBs fly off the board before I’m willing to strike, though his peaks and valleys make him frustrating to own in a redraft league. Where I love him is in best ball, because he’s still an easily draftable QB2 and those massive games play to the format beautifully.
Players we’re lower on compared to ADP
Philip Rivers (TFFA QB20, ADP QB14) — I love Rivers and consider him to be one of the most underrated players in NFL history (people really don’t realize how similar to Peyton Manning he is), but his age and current game aren’t really suited to fantasy given how loaded the QB position is with dynamic playmakers. Moreover, Rivers’ 508 pass attempts in 2018 were his fewest since 2009. If Melvin Gordon holds out into the regular season, I expect those numbers to take an uptick, but it’s clear former NFL RB Anthony Lynn wants to limit how much Rivers throws it. He’s just a "boring" guy with so many exciting, higher ceiling options out there.
Tom Brady (TFFA QB21, ADP QB15) — The issue for Brady is that his supporting cast actually kind of stinks at the WR and TE positions. Julian Edelman is currently sidelined in training camp (thumb injury), so Brady’s working with rookie N’Keal Harry, Dontrelle Inman, Maurice Harris, and Phillip Dorsett at WR. His TE room includes Lance Kendricks, Matt LaCosse, and Ben Watson (who has to serve a four-game suspension during the regular season). Things will obviously be looking up for Brady if the NFL reinstates Josh Gordon and Rob Gronkowski unretires at some point during the season, but early on I expect the Pats to run the ball more than the average NFL team.
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